This Womanhood

Emily Rose Miller

is fresh scars inflicted by myself 

                  and a bandaid

rash on my hip next to a floating tampon

string trailing like a lure 

    into my prickly

bush. It is marinating in the too-hot bathtub filled

with the disappointing remains 

   of a four-dollar

bath bomb, gone just as quickly as I lost

my self-esteem. It is plucking 


of once-dried-now-sticky-again blood

off the surface of the water 

         and wiping them

on the stained porcelain to be cleaned later. 

It is mistaking the scab on my leg 

        (from shaving, of course) 

for a bug and watching the skin on my stomach 

roll as I slouch up in panic. 

         It is nails 

just a tad too long and too jagged to pleasure 

myself with, and not having 

           the energy to bother

with the uncomfortable dildo I hide under my bed. 

It is the itch of my sunburned arms 

          and the tan

line I scowl at across my crotch and across my 

boobs. It is wishing I’d have 

            enough misguided 

strength to gouge my skin again with the razor

I balanced on the edge of the tub 

      for this very reason. 

It is staring blankly at my browned nipples,

instead, wishing they wouldn’t sag 

         quite so much. 

                      This womanhood.



Emily Miller is a Saint Leo University graduate where she received her BA in English with a    specialization in creative writing. Her work has been published in The Dollhouse Magazine, Parhelion Literary  Magazine, Red Cedar Review, and Inklette Magazine, among others.  This particular poem is her boldest and most honest yet and she is thrilled that it has found a home at Parliament Lit.                      Find Emily online at, on Instagram @actualprincessemily, or in real life cuddling with her five cats.


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